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3 Beauty & Fashion Books Everyone Needs to Read

Beauty and fashion are much more than what we see on the surface. That is why we created SKNFLUENCR after all. See below for a list of three books (all written by women!) that explore beauty and fashion beyond what meets the eye.
young woman in book store

Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession With Appearance Hurts Girls and Women

by Renee Engeln, PhD

An award-winning psychology professor reveals how the cultural obsession with women’s appearance is an epidemic that harms women’s ability to get ahead and to live happy, meaningful lives, in this powerful, eye-opening work in the vein of Peggy Orenstein and Sheryl Sandberg. (via Google Books)

Goodreads Rating:

One of the most important books I've ever read and one that I suggest to everyone — whether they obsess over their appearance or not all. The book is a needed reminder, especially for those of us who spend hours on social media, that the beauty standards that often make us feel low or unworthy come from those who benefit from our insecurities most and that what you see on Instagram isn't always what it seems with the increased access to surgeries, procedures, makeup, and countless editing tools."

Consumed: The Need for Collective Change | Colonialism, Climate Change, and Consumerism

by Aja Barber

In Consumed, Barber calls for change within an industry that regularly overreaches with abandon, creating real imbalances in the environment and the lives of those who do the work—often in unsafe conditions for very low pay—and the billionaires who receive the most profit. Barber exposes the endemic injustices in our consumer industries and the uncomfortable history of the texture industry, one which brokered slavery, racism, and today’s wealth inequality.

One the layers are peeled back, Barber invites you participate in unlearning, to understand the truth behind why we consume in the way that we do, to confront the uncomfortable feeling that we are never quite enough and why we will the void with consumption rather than compassion. Barber challenges us to challenge the system and our role in it. The less you buy in the consumer culture, the more power you have. Consumed will teach you how to be a citizen and not a consumer.

Goodreads Rating:

Many of you know that I love to purge my closet. Rather regularly. However, what sometimes follows is a push to buy more things to fill those hangers. The last few months I have really challenged myself to think deeply about all of my clothing purchases and how they serve me. But this book took it one step further. CONSUMED challenged me to think deeply about how my purchases affect the marginalized communities who make the clothes, the environmental toll on the production and destruction of the clothes, and the global impact of donating the clothes.

If you are looking for a deep dive into what sustainability actually means regarding your clothing purchases and learning about the environmental, economic, and cultural impact of those clothes, this is a fantastic book!

Trick Mirror: Reflections of Self Delusion

by Jia Tolentino

Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly in a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Jia writes about the cultural prisms that have shaped her: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the American scammer as millennial hero; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; the mandate that everything, including our bodies, should always be getting more effecient and beautiful until we die. (via Goodreads)

Goodreads Rating:

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion is a collection of nine essays reflecting on the idea of the self in relation to social media, reality tv, marketing, literature, and many more realities which often lack truth. As the "millennial Susan Sontag," Tolentino uses her unique experience as a Canadian-American woman of colour and her sharp sense of humour to create a feminist text which is both approachable and insightful. Above all, Tolentino speaks of the future with nothing but hope; I believe we can all learn from her perspective